Shakespearean Hero

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William Shakespeare is one of the leading dramatists in history and wrote the plays against which all later dramatic writing has been measured. Shakespeare's tragedies generally follow the Aristotelian view of the tragic hero, though Shakespeare does bend some of the Aristotelian "rules" when he believes it is necessary to accomplish his purpose. An examination of several of his tragedies will show how he achieves his dramatic effects in terms of the definition of the Shakespearean tragic hero. Probably the most important characteristic of a Shakespearean tragic hero is that one must posses a tragic flaw, because without the flaw, there would never be a downfall.The ultimate flaw varies from one play to another, for example in Macbeth's flaw is that od blinded ambition. And it is this ambition which eventually dooms him. Macbeth's character gradually degenerates from that of a noble man to that of a violent individual.

While the tragic flaw is the key element in a tragedy, the tragic hero’s social status is also of high importance. All tragic heroes are from a very noble class. Whether the heroes are Thanes or Generals in the army, like Macbeth. Macbeth is shown to be a man of exceptional nature as well as high position. He is Thane of Glamis, Thane of Cawdor, and King of Scotland. This characteristic Shakespeare used mostly to help the common people identify with the wealthier upper class. He wants to show the ruling class, which was generally looked upon with favor and prestige, could sin much like the commoners did.

Another characteristic that distinguish the Shakespearian tragic hero is that He must be ultimately responsible for the deed which begins his downfall. We can not find a great example for this chararcteristic than Macbeth, as the prophecies given to him by the witches, Lady Macbeth's influence and plan, and his intensified ambition,...
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